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George Mason Created a Brand of Wines to Raise Scholarship Funds

And the Virginia school is getting the wine from California.

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Cabernet or Merlot? (Image from George Mason University Foundation)

George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. has partnered with a winery in California to create Geo Mason Wines, a boutique brand with a higher purpose in mind.

Higher education, that is.

Each bottle of wine — they have created both a chardonnay and a cabernet — sells for $19.99 and the GMU scholarship fund gets $3.50 from each sale.

The school’s foundation had been looking for new revenue streams for it’s scholarship fund, and board member Terri Beirne, who also serves on the board of a wine counsel, hit upon the idea of a university-themed wine.

Students in the advertising and design programs were enlisted to come up with a label and a name. According to a news release from George Mason, “The students were separated into seven groups and began working on the assignment at the beginning of the semester to present to the Mason Foundation Wine Committee.”

Names the students came up with included Halcyon Days, Melange, and The Fourth. They ended up going with Geo Mason Wines.

Beirne told WTOP that Geo came from “George from the old days when they used to abbreviate names to save on ink costs. We were trying to navigate around the University’s copyright protections with George Mason and GMU, so we decided to come up with something novel.”

WTOP also reported that Beirne estimates that George Mason events require about 350 cases of vino each year. We don’t do much math (you know, we’re journalists and all), but that would probably add up to a pretty nice donation to the scholarship fund if the school bought only it’s own brand of wine.

And as for why the school didn’t use a winery in it’s home state, officials from the school were unable to find a winemaker in Virginia that could meet their requirements and timeline.

Maybe if they add a Merlot.

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